KALAMAZOO, Mich. — 'History in the making' is a phrase you will hear a lot of this week at Kalamazoo Central football practice as the Maroon Giants look for the program's first-ever playoff win this Friday night.
The game will also mark the first time Kalamazoo Central has hosted a playoff game since 2000 when they welcome Ann Arbor Huron to Thomas Stadium.
"It's an exciting moment," said third year head coach Carlton Brewster, "for our school, our community, and anybody who supports Kalamazoo Central football. It's bigger than a game, it's history in the making," he added.
And the players understand what's on the line as well.
"It'll mean a lot, not only to me but to Kalamazoo Central and the entire program," added senior runningback, Jaden Blanchard.
And Coach Brewster has been a part of history before. In 1999, as a junior at Creston high school, Brewster and the team advanced to the state finals, becoming the first Grand Rapids public school to play in a state championship.
"Kids at 15 and 16 years old don't understand that," Brewster explained, "I didn't understand it either, being the first to ever do something, like when I was at Creston."
The players understand this week is a bit bigger than a normal game, but they're making sure they prepare the right way.
"We're approaching it like it is a bit bigger than normal," said senior lineman Jaleen Johnson, "this game is more than a game, it's history in the making, that's how we're treating it."
The Maroon Giants are 2-4 on the season so far, but have faced a tough schedule in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference. Despite that tough start, the players are confident and focused going into Friday night.
"As a program, we just have to go out and play to our full potential," said Blanchard, "we know we have a lot of great athletes, we just have to be the best we can and secure the bag."
And the senior leaders are ready to step up on Friday night to make history.
"There's a great quote I always go back to, 'Greatness is a lot of little things done right,'" said Johnson, "if we do the small things right, we'll reach greatness."
Coach Brewster says he'll have one final message to his guys before they take the field on Friday.
"It's history, just make history," he explained, "20 years from now, you can tell your kids that, 'hey, we were the first to ever do it,' and that's huge in itself."
Kickoff between the Maroon Giants and Ann Arbor Huron is slated for 7 PM on Friday night at Thomas Stadium.